Thursday, April 08, 2004

The ugly ducklings

When the wife came home tonight, she hipped me to something on Fox called "The Swan." The show, she told me, will take ugly women, try to make them "pretty" and put them in a "beauty pageant".

Seriously.

So, with wifey out at girls' night and Fox running and encore of Monday's show, I had to see it for myself. Hey, I like to gawk at car wrecks - that's why I read Jessica Pivik's columns.

The show in a nutshell goes like this: They introduce two homely women at the start of the show and then have a discussion with a group of plastic surgeons and fitness coaches about what it will take to turn the poor creature into a "beauty".

This was an actual exchange between the doctors and the host about one of tonight's women:
Doc 1: "Kelly is a really cute girl. She needs to be able to feel sexy. And to do that is pretty easy. You do breast augmentation, you do liposuction, a lot of training, and she's a winner. We can really transform her."

Host: "What about facial surgery?"

Doc 2: "I think she needs a focal point of interest in terms of her face. I think she'd look really nice with fuller lips. Soften her up, bring some sensuality."

Doc 1: "She also needs some more definition. I mean, you want to take some fat out of her face, take some fat out of her cheeks, take some fat out of her chin. Open up her eyes, really make her prettiness come out."

All of these comments are set against a faux 3D computer model of the girl in her underwear with little targets appearing on the areas they're going to "improve" through the magic of plastic surgery.

So we meet the girls, listen to the docs talk about their problems, and then the show goes in to 30 minutes of watching the girls get cut up by the doctors and yelled at by the fitness guy (I breezed through this on the PVR).

During all this time, the girls can't see any images of themselves. That's saved for the big overblown "reveal" at the end of the show.

All hail the miracles of plastic surgery and reality TV!!!

But then comes the good part. One of them doesn't get to go on to the "beauty pageant" after all. How cool is that? The show spends three months making these girls feel "beautiful" and then tells one of them they're not good enough to go on to the "pageant" with the other formerly-ugly chicks!

I hear season two of The Swan will feature ugly midgets, and the winners each week will get to go on to compete for the love of a guy who is either a) rich, b) gay or c) neither.

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